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Don Jorge

1887 Winchester

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Would a 1887 built in 1892 be a black powder only gun, or could light smokeless loads be used as well?

What is the chamber length in such a gun?

Thanks.

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43 minutes ago, Don Jorge said:

Would a 1887 built in 1892 be a black powder only gun, or could light smokeless loads be used as well?

What is the chamber length in such a gun?

Thanks.

Not safe for anything but Real BP. That is why they come out with the 1901 so that the shotgun could handle smokeless loads.

 

Original 12 ga 1887 was chambered in 2 5/8" Original 10 was chambered in 2 7/8"

 

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BP only and it has a shorter chamber than what is common today.

The last run in 1901, was 10 gauge only and proofed for smokeless.

No original 12 ga '87 lever is safe for smokeless.

OLG

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Where would be a source for properly sized 12 gauge shells/hulls in 2 5/8"?

Can a BP substitute, like APP be used?

 

Thanks for your info.

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If you are loading the ammo, it is easy to cut down plastic hulls to any desired length and roll crimp them with an overshot card.  Yes, APP will be as safe as BP, similar pressures.

 

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If you can get in touch with Chili Pepper Pete or Fireball they may have some info to share.

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I've modified my process and no longer use the Lee Loadall but the components and results are the same.

 

 

If you want to get real nostalgic,  use brass hulls.

 

 

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Would the "Vintiger" shells, which are smokeless, 2 1/4 dram equiv and 7/8 oz shot still be excessive?  I presume it would be.

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, Don Jorge said:

Would the "Vintiger" shells, which are smokeless, 2 1/4 dram equiv and 7/8 oz shot still be excessive?  I presume it would be.

 

IMNSHO YES

 

loading shells with real BP or a sub like Black MZ or APP is not rocket science. 

Edited by Sedalia Dave

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Can't use smokeless in a real 87.

 

2-1/2" chambers.   It's the 97 that has 2-5/8" ones.

 

Either trim plastic hulls to length, or use Magtech all brass.  I do both in guns that require shorter shells, but the all brass ones are wicked cool.

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Ask your favorite cowboy gunsmith :rolleyes:(with knowledge of the following), to rechamber  your old 87, to 2-3/4".  Add a 1-1/2" long forcing cone (to lower the chamber pressure and felt recoil), and use only Win AAFL-8 (Superfeatherlites) and the gun will perform great and is not dangerous.

There are a LOT of old Win M-87's with this modification, using the aforementioned ammo, being shot every weekend in SASS for over 15 years.

 

respectfully submitted - - - (and now thankfully retired)  - - - Coyote Cap"

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16 hours ago, Coyote Cap, SASS Life #14184 said:

Ask your favorite cowboy gunsmith :rolleyes:(with knowledge of the following), to rechamber  your old 87, to 2-3/4".  Add a 1-1/2" long forcing cone (to lower the chamber pressure and felt recoil), and use only Win AAFL-8 (Superfeatherlites) and the gun will perform great and is not dangerous.

There are a LOT of old Win M-87's with this modification, using the aforementioned ammo, being shot every weekend in SASS for over 15 years.

 

respectfully submitted - - - (and now thankfully retired)  - - - Coyote Cap"

 

For what it's worth, this fellow knows that he is talking about.   My own vintage 87 had some issues when I got it.  Most glaring was the fact that it would not properly feed shells from the magazine.   So, I sent the gun to... Coyote Cap... who fixed that problem, and lengthened the forcing cone to the proper length for modern shells.

 

He also brings up another intriguing point, in a kind of tangential way.   I happen to own an original Winchester 93.  One look at tells you that it is of much "beefier" construction than the 97.   Everyplace you look, the steel is noticeably thicker on the earlier gun.  I have often thought that, with the chamber properly lengthened, that this gun would be perfectly safe to fire light smokeless loads.    That being said, I have not done so.  It continues to get nothing but black, 2.5" ones.   IF I ever get around to getting the chamber lengthened, I may reconsider that, but only if a trusted Cowboy gunsmith thinks it's okay.   If not, I'll stay with black, just like I do with my  87.

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Thanks for the information and recommendations.

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Posted (edited)
On 6/12/2019 at 2:07 PM, Don Jorge said:

Where would be a source for properly sized 12 gauge shells/hulls in 2 5/8"?

Can a BP substitute, like APP be used?

 

Thanks for your info.

I made a couple of videos long ago on how to cut and then load in a 600jr 2-1/2" shells.

 

 

 

Edit.  Close up of the spacer used to make 2-1/2" shells.  Mec also sells this.

 

spacer.jpg

spacer2.JPG

Edited by Wagon Box Willy
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I tried star crimping trimmed hulls and didn't like the results.  As you noted,  the plastic is thicker past the original fold.  I am happier with the roll crimp.  With a star crimp,  the star still unfolds making a longer hull on ejection than the roll crip hulls.

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Thanks for sharing your methods.

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Mec does make a kit for loading shorter shells. I did have problems with crimping cut shells. Fast forward about 10 years to now. I acquired a Pacific single stage, and it looked much easier to set-up for shorter shell, but I had the same problem making a good 6 or 8 point  crimp. I looked inside the crimper and it looked allot like the plastic crimper on my Mec.  So I then looked inside the crimper of my also recently acquired Texan progressive, and the crimper was metal, and had much sharper edges inside. So I took the extra 6 point crimper from the Texan and made it work on the Pacific, and Voila! nice crimped shells. I believe Ballistic Products makes a metal crimper, I bet it works much better than the normal plastic ones found on most presses, except old monsters like the Texan. I have yet to try these shorter shells in my 1887, been too busy, too many other projects around the house, BSA volunteer work, etc. 

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